Louisiana Court of Appeal Upholds $30M Damages Award for a Man Paralyzed in a Collision with an 18-Wheeler

When an accident causes injuries that include permanent paralysis, the level of harm is often catastrophic. You may be entitled to multiple different types of damages, depending on the nature of your injuries. A skilled Louisiana truck accident attorney can help you make sure you get everything to which you are entitled.

One recent case demonstrated the sort of catastrophic injuries that can occur. The case arose from a terrible accident along Highway 90 on the outskirts of Lafayette. Ronald was driving to work along Highway 90 in a dense, heavy fog. The intersection of Highway 90 and Austria Road was one controlled by a flashing light. Highway 90 traffic had a yellow flashing light, and Austria Road traffic had a red flashing light (and a stop sign). As Ronald approached the Austria Road intersection, he saw an 18-wheeler in the road. The semi was traveling straight through the intersection on Austria Road and had not cleared the intersection. Ronald tried to stop but slammed into the rear wheel of the truck.

The impact resulted in Ronald suffering permanent paralysis from the chest down. Before the accident, Ronald was an active person with a job. After the accident, Ronald was not even able to care for himself. He also developed diabetes after the accident.

When you are injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, there may be several avenues for recovery, but that also means you’ll need to prepare for the pursuit of several defendants. A 18-wheeler accident can involve claims against the driver, the trucking company, and multiple insurers. Depending on how your case develops, it may make sense to settle with some defendants and litigate against others.

That’s what happened in Ronald’s case. He settled with the truck driver, the trucking company, and one insurer for an amount between three and four million dollars. He litigated against two other insurance companies, which were the trucking company’s “excess insurers.” That trial resulted in a judgment for Ronald and a damages award in excess of $30 million.

Although one of the companies contested the damages award on appeal, it lost. The appeals court stated in its opinion that the jury had a sufficient basis for the award it created. Before the accident, Ronald was a working man, who enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, and generally helping others. Afterward, he was someone unable to do anything for himself. Although he had the use of his arms, the accident so badly damaged his right shoulder that its use was vastly diminished to the point that he was “functionally a quadriplegic.” The emotional toll was also great. The plaintiff had evidence about his excited anticipation of a new grandchild, which had turned to sadness as he realized how limited he would be in playing and interacting with the child.

The story of this driver is one of both a tragic injury and the legal system providing for a proper recovery. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, reach out to the experienced Louisiana tractor-trailer accident attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm. Our lawyers have spent many years fighting for injured people.

For your confidential consultation, contact us online or phone Cardone at 1-888-89-CARDONE (1-888-892-2736).

More Blog Posts:

The ‘Duty-Risk Analysis’ and How It Can Help You Win Your Louisiana Personal Injury Case, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, Oct. 18, 2017

Louisiana Pedestrian Recovers $80K Damages Award Despite Stepping in Front of Flatbed Truck, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, March 6, 2017